Happy Herbivore Blog

Mama Herbivore Returns! (Part 1)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Parents

My mom is back for another guest post! As I mentioned before, my parents came to visit for and had their very first vegan Thanksgiving; it was a fun week and my mom is ready to post all about her trip!

I've never driven west, and thought visiting Lindsay in Colorado would be a good opportunity to see the country. It was a great trip, minus the part where our car broke down a few hours from Lindsay's house. I've seen mountains in Vermont, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, but there is no comparison with the mountains in Colorado. They are magnificent. 

It's every mothers dream to be able to spend quality time with your daughter at the holidays. We had a great time with Lindsay, Scott and our 'grandpugs'. That is what really makes for a perfect Thanksgiving holiday. Even our dog Nicke' enjoyed himself.

(Lindsay: I am naturally tan colored -- and my hair is really that wild.)

We rode up the mountain in the gondola to what seemed like the tippy top of heaven. I can't believe Lindsay and Scott snowboard down it. It was our first time seeing them snowboard and I was thankful we rode the gondola back down. I got chills watching them.  

Mama Herbivore will be posting another guest blog later this afternoon about some of the vegan food she ate while visiting. I love reading her opinions on my food... she isn't the type of person to grin & swallow food she doesn't like (she gags and spits it out!) so I always know I'm getting honest feedback from her ;-)

Stay tuned!

This Week's Q&A (Talking GF, hair, pressing tofu & more!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

You've got questions, I've got answers!

1. Are there brands you like for vegan Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese?

Daiya seems to be the most popular brand for Mozzarella, and Galaxy Nutritional Foods for parm. Truthfully, I'm not really into substitutes because they tend to be expensive and high in fat --  I also can't get either where I live. I make my own "cheese" at home (why there are so many faux fat-free cheeses in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook!).

2. Do you have a tofu press, what brand do you recommend?

I had a tofu press, Nasoya sent me one for free but, sadly, I never used it and ended up giving it to a friend -- my kitchen is too tiny for items I don't use daily or at least weekly.

see my video post on how to press tofu without fancy gadgets:

3. Is there an alternative to vital wheat gluten? I'm GF.

This gluten-free "gluten" substitute comes highly recommended by my GF friends.

4. How can I replace tofu in recipes?

It depends on the recipe and what to tofu is being used for. For silken or soft tofu, you could try using a vegan yogurt that's non-soy, such as coconut milk yogurt or rice-based yogurt. You could also try this DIY soy-free tofu recipe. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks promising. 

5. I love your meal plans! Where can I buy previous weeks?

Please contact me directly Lindsay[at]happyherbivore[dot]com.

6. How do you cook and bake without oil? 

See my posts: cooking without oil and baking without oil

7. What do you do to have such beautiful hair?

Aww... thanks for the compliment. I believe it's all diet. I don't really put any products in my hair (outside of gentle shampoo and sometimes if it's really tangled, gentle condition or avocado). 

I always find it amusing when people say you need to eat more fat to get strong, shiny and beautiful hair since the exact opposite has proven true for me. My low fat diet has done my body (and hair!) good. I saw positive changes in my hair when I adopted a plant-based diet, but it got even healthier when I went to a low fat, whole foods diet.

8. Is it possible to cook in stainless steel pots without oil?

Absolutely. I have stainless steel and I never - ever - use oil. As long as a keep a thin barrier of water or broth, I'm good to go. Nothing has ever stuck on me, ever.

9. How do you combat naysayers who ask things like where do you get your nutrients on a vegan diet?

I neutralize the topic by pointing out that the important thing to understand is whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, etc. you must--absolutely must-- eat a balanced diet with a wide variety of nutritious foods. Eating meat and dairy does not mean you will automatically meet all your nutritional needs or you'll meet them more likely than someone who eats plants. There are plenty of omnivores with deficiencies, or who are on supplements or have health issues. Meat and dairy are missing lots of key nutrients, too. For example, where is fiber in meat? where is vitamin C in milk? With any diet, you must eat well and make good choices to be optimally healthy.

10. Do you have any go-to seasonings with cous cous?

I'm sorry to say we don't eat cous cous -- it's a preference thing, and also a health thing--can't find whole wheat cous cous where we live easily... I imagine you can treat it like quinoa or rice... I would smother it in one of my gravies if I did serve it. Hope that helps! 

DIY Happy Herbivore Holiday Gifts

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Holiday

With the holidays coming up, you might be wondering what you should get for the foodie in your life! A few weeks ago Courtney (my sis!) wrote a post about saving money this holiday season and mentioned making your own gifts as an option. A DIY gift has such a personal touch and can really make your friend or family member feel special. 

Try these HH inspired foodie gift ideas to give a healthy and delicious treat as a gift this holiday season!

1.     Jars! Take advantage of ball jars (green-friendly) and fill them with your favorite HH dessert or bread recipe ingredients. You should layer the ingredients one by one to make a pretty effect in the jars. After you’ve filled the jar, seal it, place a ribbon or bow on it, and make a custom little card with instructions to add the wet ingredients and enjoy. Use one of these recipes to create a jar full of delicious:

Corn Bread (p. 49, Happy Herbivore Cookbook)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (p. 203, Happy Herbivore Cookbook)

Double Chocolate Muffins 

2.     Make a dry soup mix for winter months! Fill a bag with seasonings, dry beans or noodles.  Create a tag with instructions on adding the wet ingredients and cooking.  Try this with our Moroccan Lentil Soup

3.     Create a custom spice blend. Happy Herbivore recipes rely on spices to bring you healthy cooked food full of flavor. Combine spices in a pretty glass spice jar from the craft store and create a custom label for them. You can even send them suggestions on which recipes to make with them!

4.     Homemade baked goods are always a winning present as well. Why not bake some delicious cookies this year and share them with friends? They won’t even know that you’re giving them a low fat, healthy alternative in the midst of holiday sugar overload! You can package the cookies in treat boxes from the craft store, and customize each package with different ribbon, or other decorations.

There's also the 2012 HH calendar -- each sale supports students!

Order a calendar now.